University of Massachusetts Amherst

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About Emergency Management

 

The Office of Emergency Management is a division of the Environmental Health and Safety Department. We work in close conjunction with the entire UMass campus community to plan for emergencies and establish comprehensive preparedness, mitigation and recovery strategies. In the case of an emergency, a highly-trained team of campus leaders (the Emergency Operations Center Team) is on-call to ensure the operational continuity of the campus. Achieving disaster resilience is a complex challenge that requires coordination, cooperation, and a focused effort from everyone – students, faculty, staff, and local residents.

UMass Amherst: A Resource Worth Protecting

The University of Massachusetts functions like a small community. It is a workplace, a research center, a place of learning, a home to many and a cultural hub of the Pioneer Valley. UMass is a critical economic engine in Massachusetts, directly employing around 7,000 people and generating a total economic impact of nearly $1.4 billion each year. Moreover, UMass will likely be a significant resource in the event of a disaster or other emergency in the Pioneer Valley. The university may be called upon to provide shelter, resources, or other assistance for not only the campus itself, but also the surrounding community. Each potential hazard, from earthquakes to winter storms, presents a unique set of issues and challenges.

Plan, Prepare, and Train to Reduce Risk and Loss

Crisis and disaster events require not only preparation, but also an understanding of response capabilities and limitations. One approach is to go beyond conventional emergency operations planning and establish comprehensive preparedness, loss/risk reduction (e.g., mitigation), and recovery and reconstruction strategies. It is impossible to predict the timing or severity of an emergency, but UMass Amherst can greatly minimize losses through deliberate planning, preparing, and training. Achieving disaster resilience is a complex challenge that requires coordination, cooperation, and a focused effort from everyone – students, faculty, staff, and external partners, such as government agencies, non-profit organizations, and local residents.

Integrated Systems: Day-to-Day and in an Emergency

The integrated systems approach to emergency management helps ensure that UMass Amherst identifies opportunities to mitigate risk and prevent loss, as well as establish recovery and continuity strategies for all types of events. Engaging in an integrated and coordinated emergency management program provides the campus with a number of benefits, including:

  • Reduced vulnerability and exposure to future crisis and disaster events

  • Protection of life, property, essential services, and critical facilities

  • Diminished post-disaster economic hardship for the campus community

  • Reduced short-term and long-term recovery and reconstruction costs

  • Quicker resumption of University functions, including education, research, and business systems

  • Increased cooperation and communication within the community through planning, training, and exercises